Tag Archives: ground beef

simple bolognese sauce

Pasta bolognese. The meal that will ensure that everyone in the household eats a good hearty meal. It’s all about the basics, isn’t it? I sometimes wonder why I bother with the fancy, complicated stuff sometimes when something as simple as a bowl of pasta with a rich meat sauce makes everyone happy.

I whipped up this lovely version of a simplified bolognese recipe from Giada De Laurentiis – simplified because it uses only ground beef and leaves out the pork, pancetta and wine that usually goes into a bolognese. Although simplified, the taste is still full and rich. We served the pasta on rotini which I find holds the sauce really well.


Simple Bolognese Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground chuck beef
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes – I used a 28 oz can of whole San Marzano tomatoes which I crushed in my hands
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chiffonade
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil until almost smoking. Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes.

Add the celery and carrot and saute for 5 minutes.

Turn up heat to high and add the ground beef. Saute, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, parsley and basil and cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Season to taste and top with parmigiano.





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sour cream noodle bake

When you have small children and an enabling husband, they make you do stuff like this while photographing your meal for your blog.


Obviously, placing LEGO Minifigures on one’s dinner plate and making Mom photograph them is way more fun than eating itself.

Despite the dinner games, everyone really enjoyed this recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s website.

The Pioneer Woman’s Sour Cream Noodle Bake
The original recipe can be found here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/03/sour-cream-noodle-bake/

1-1/4 pound ground beef
1 can tomato sauce (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
8 ounces, egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown your ground beef in a large skillet. Drain any excess fat and add tomato sauce, salt and pepper.Stir and simmer.

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.

Add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.

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teriyaki meatball bowl

I bought these delicious pre-made meatballs at Costco and have totally fallen in love with them. While I’m usually one to make things from scratch, I sometimes cave for the convenience of pre-packaged goods. The Kirkland brand meatballs are one of these products I’ve discovered I’d much rather have on hand and use instead of making them from scratch on work nights.

I was browsing the Budget Bytes website and came across this recipe. It seemed easy enough for a rushed weeknight meal that I decided to give it a try, using, obviously, said Kirkland meatballs.  I decided to throw in some bell peppers and broccoli florets I stir-fried in a bit of sesame oil and make it a full meal in a bowl.  Everyone devoured  their dinner, and I made lots of extras for lunches. Yum!

Even though I used premade meatballs, I’ll still post the recipe for the meatballs. I just can’t comment on it! Based on reading other comments on the recipe, they’re a pretty good meatball recipe!

Teriyaki Meatball Bowl
1 lb. ground pork
1 large egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp soy sauce
2 whole green onions
1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Teriyaki Glaze
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the ground pork in a large bowl. Add the ginger, garlic and green onions. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, soy sauce, and black pepper. Mix all the ingredients until well combined.

Cover a baking sheet with foil. Roll the meatball mixture into small balls, about one tablespoon each. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.

While the meatballs are in the oven, prepare the teriyaki glaze. In a medium pot combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Add ginger. Heat over a low flame until the brown sugar is dissolved.

Make a slurry with the cornstarch and add to the glaze. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and begins to simmer. Add the sesame seeds.

Add the cooked meatballs to the glaze. Stir to coat. I added my stir-fried veggies to the pot at this point, too.

Serve over warm rice and top with extra green onions and sesame seeds.



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cheeseburger macaroni

I decided to try out another recipe I’d pinned on Pinterest tonight. I love cheeseburgers. I love mac n’cheese. How could I not love a combination of the two?

I enjoyed the recipe. It’s a good home-made version of Hamburger Helper and the flavours were a “blast from the past”. I have to admit that ever since starting this blog, I’ve strayed away from plainer, less complicated “comfort foods” and I’m glad I decided to try this one. The kids loved it and ate seconds and it’s a really good budget friendly recipe.  There are lots of leftovers and I’m sure the dish will be great re-heated for lunch as it’s quite saucy and likely won’t dry out as much as pasta leftovers sometimes do.

Cheeseburger Macaroni courtesy of kevinandamanda.com
I did take some liberties with their recipe and the changes will be reflected below.

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 heaping tbsp taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth (or water)
1 cup elbow macaroni (as you’ll see by the photo, I used rigatoni… because that’s what I had to use up in my cupboard.)

Brown and drain hamburger meat. Stir in taco seasoning, tomatoes, beef broth, and macaroni. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer 12-14 mins until macaroni is tender.

While everything cooks, make a cheese sauce

2 Tablespoons butter
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk, warmed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes until fragrant and light brown in color. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.


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mexican pizza

On the menu today? Mexican pizza! It was quite the adventure to make as I witnessed a car drive into the side of the bakery as I was walking over there to buy some pizza dough. Some poor old lady apparently confused her gas pedal with her brake pedal; thankfully, the building knew how to break for her and she missed the half-dozen people sitting on the patio.

I’m happy to announce that making this pizza was nowhere near as eventful as prepping for it. I’m also pleased to announce that everyone enjoyed it, too.

Mexican pizza
1/2 lb extra-lean ground beef
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup black beans
4 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 tbsp taco seasoning (home made)
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 pizza crust (store-bought or see recipe here )
1 cup packed shredded light sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp minced green onions
Light sour cream and salsa

Preheat oven to 425F. Cook pizza dough for 8-9 minutes.

Heat non-stick skillet on high. Add beef and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly browned. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink. Add diced tomato, carrots, pepper, corn and beans and cook for another 2 minutes. Add taco seasoning, salt, pepper and cilantro. Cook for another minute and remove from heat.

Spread pizza sauce evenly over crust. Top with half the cheese and beef mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese and green onions on top.

Return pizza to middle oven rack and bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is completely melted and crust is golden brown.

Top with sour cream and salsa and serve!

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thai meatballs over rice (and some banana blueberry muffins)

I decided to give another Looneyspoons recipe a whirl and make Thai inspired meatballs. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t a success. I thought it was decent (read: edible) but the rest of the fam wasn’t as convinced.  As such, this recipe will be removed from the recipe rotation. Nonetheless, those who had recommended the recipe to me really enjoyed it and the reviews I found online were positive and so I’m going to share it with you anyways! I suppose the mix of flavours just wasn’t for me!

Glad Thai Dings from the Looneyspoons cookbook

1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs — unseasoned
3 tablespoons finely minced green onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 egg
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons light peanut butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil — or fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray rimmed cookie sheet or large baking dish and set aside.

Meatballs: Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl (using hands works best.)

Form meat mixture into 40 1-1 1/2 inch meatballs. Put on prepared pan.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through and nicely browned.

While meatballs are cooking prepare sauce. In a deep non-stick skillet, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sauce boils. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes, stirring often. Sauce will thicken a bit.

Add cooked meatballs to sauce and mix well.

Serve hot.

I served over rice and asian inspired stir-fried bell peppers. I chopped up some peppers, added a bit of oil to my wok, added a splash of soy and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Voilà!

I also decided to whip up some banana-blueberry muffins. I used my low-fat muffin recipe found here and subbed the chocolate chips for a cup of blueberries and added a couple of tablespoons of ground flax. I added a bit of extra mashed bananas a about a tsp of extra sour cream to compensate for the flax meal.  I made a dozen of these on Saturday morning and there are none left. My eldest may have eaten almost three to himself for breakfast that morning. Healthy and yummy. Can’t go wrong!

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